Salathe Wall, El Capitan 5.13b or 5.9 C2

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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Rating Distribution
13 Total Ratings
5 star: 85%  (11)
4 star: 15%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Tez

Mountain climber
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   Jun 21, 2013 - 02:06pm
I thought this was harder than the nose. Some of the aid was tricky. There is a fair amount of mandatory wide climbing.

The bivy on top of Hollow flake is great for 1. I would call it good for 2. You have a sandy slot that is about 9’ long that can fit 2 people if they don’t mind having legs sharing the middle.

I had a #6 Technical Friend and it worked great on a number of pitches (a #6 Camelot is a half inch smaller and would be less secure). I used it on pitches 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, & 34.

Even if you don’t climb harder than 5.9, wear your free climbing shoes on the Free Blast and pitches 11 – 16, 18, 20 – 22, 23 – 26, 32 – 35. Have knee pads on for pitches 14, 15, 18, 21, & 34

When you get to Long Ledge, haul from the middle of the ledge, not the left. Of course, clip the bolts on the right for your follower.

Pitch 35 the topo shows going fairly straight up. I went over to the left about 15’, then followed features in a rising traverse to the right until I was slightly right of the belay. Then I went straight up until I saw a tree to belay from.
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belayerslayer300

Trad climber
May 2, 2013 - 03:42pm
 
Hi Supertopo!

I will be visiting the Valley with a crew next month to begin projecting to free the Salathe' and wanted to ask you good people about any tips or beta about rapping down from the lip to work the Head wall pitches.

Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated.
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Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 20, 2013 - 12:01pm
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1k5GE3MeLE

Great archival footage or Allen Steck and Steve Roper talking about the 3rd ascent of the Salathe Wall.
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j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Nov 19, 2012 - 03:34pm
 
As of 2 weeks ago (Nov 3) the lines were in very good shape with only one knot to pass on the first line off the ground. Two lines fixed from Heart Ledges to Mammoth as well.

For what it's worth. I would assume as long as they're in good condition they'll remain and when they get sketchy enough, people will take them down in order to use their own ropes to rap the slabs. (as it currently stands, they are tied into the bottom links of the chains and so make it difficult at best to use your own ropes to rap.
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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Nov 19, 2012 - 02:48pm
 
No one is "officially" responsible for the lines so they are there when they are there and not when they are not.
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Nov 19, 2012 - 01:54pm
 
When do they take down the fixed lines that people use to get down from Freeblast?
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hollyclimber

Big Wall climber
North Rim, AZ
May 14, 2012 - 03:42am
 
Yes, you can rap Bermuda Dunes and yes that is what Jeff and Jack did. No, they did not really recommend it. Probably better to pendulum back onto the route. Some pitches are serious rope stretchers w 60 m ropes. I am sure they would not do that again.
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Sonic

Trad climber
Boulder, Co
May 9, 2012 - 02:04pm
 
Nope,

Go leave your rope up for us for the season. Someone told me it was your turn
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drwb

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 9, 2012 - 01:58pm
 
Any word about the fixed ropes from Heat Ledge?
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Uncle D

Sport climber
Tucson AZ
Jan 9, 2012 - 12:05am
 
Does anyone have a current rack list for the Salathe? Thanks
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Squeezo

Trad climber
Conifer CO
Nov 21, 2011 - 08:48pm
 
Grippa,
If no lines are fixed you will nesd four ropes, if your fixin, maybe do free blast with 2 parties and each bring 2 ropes and fix, . I heard the lines were shot now as of last month and a bolt needed to be replaced also on the 3rd set of anchors. good luck and enjoy
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Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 17, 2011 - 01:06pm
 
If rope are not fixed from Heart Ledges how many 60m ropes would I need to get the job done? Planning on an ascent in May.
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Squeezo

Trad climber
Conifer CO
Sep 7, 2011 - 03:24pm
 
I was there last may and there was fixed lines allover the place, we came across 2 parties that have rapped from the summit all the way down,
As for the ear listen to Mark Hudon, i did and it was spot on. Don't bring any gear for the HF, your in there and not going anywhere, just make sure you get your haul line way out of the Hf before hauling. The ear is the SH*t so much fun and there is so many ledges in there to kick it. Mark is right there is a one more harder pitch of OW but nothing you can't squeeze threw. It;s a sweet climb. Oh the Block is not a good Bivi unless you like being that close to your buddy and sloping in an understatement. I loved it and have a fun and safe climb,the Head wall is AMAZING also.
SEND ITTTTT
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cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
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   Sep 7, 2011 - 02:00pm
There is a rappel line directly down from Hollow flake ledge. There is one bolt on the Spire but there is a good rap station in the Alcove. You can rappel with a 70m rope to the Hollow Flake ledge from the Alcove (many rappels and using the midway anchor on the Monster OW which may/may not have chains). It's much faster with 2x ropes. Be careful of getting your rope stuck on the last rappel to HF ledge.

From HF ledge it's about 5 or 6 rappels with double 50m ropes. I think after the first rappel do the base of the Hollow Flake all rappels are 40m or less. After the first rappel you you trend left (towards Bermuda?) and go over the Slack roof.

All rappel stations have good bolts and chains. The best setup is two 70m ropes so that you can skip the station below the Slack roof(go left towards bushes). The "midway" anchor below Slack is way left in a small corner and hard to get to (since you are dangling in space). There is a Fixe Chain + ring anchor that is easier to get to on the right but puts you on an older rappel route (manky pins + slings). The correct route has you hitting the ground near La Escula. If you want more details shoot me a pm.
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
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   Sep 7, 2011 - 01:18pm
I haven't tried it, but it looks like you can probably rap off to the left of the spire down Excalibur. The only ??? per the topo is how far it is from the spire to the first fixed anchor. A combo of BD and Excalibur might be done too. Generally, I think folks come down from the left side of the Slack. Bump to you.
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Jim Smith

Trad climber
sunnyvale, ca
Sep 7, 2011 - 12:55pm
 
Last May, there was an accident on el cap spire. After the rescue, the SAR team retreated with 2 teams down an independent rap line. I think it was Bermuda Dunes.

Can anyone who has done this comment? Is there a way down directly from the spire that doesn't involve reversing the hollow flake?

Jim
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WallMan

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Jul 16, 2010 - 03:42pm
 
Oscar - the Ear, along with the Hollow Flake, were the two most memorable and challenging pitches for me on the Salathe. The Hollow Flake was easier, but waay waay run out. The Ear was an absolute grunt. Most of the pitch is easy - but then you get into the bowels of the Ear, and need to traverse roughly 30 feet straight horizontal. The Ear is a bombay chimney - meaning the bottom of the chimney opens up and is wider than the top. The climbing "style" I used to get through the Ear was to place a wide piece, lower down a bit so I could get out of the maw and turn my head and see what my next moves were, then get back into the maw and set the next piece of gear or slide the previous piece, and then repeat. Very strenuous and very memorable pitch. However, I don't believe it is a show stopper (route ending) pitch like the Hollow Flake can be.

The Salathe is a great route.

Wally
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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 15, 2010 - 03:38pm
 
It's more psychological than anything. Get up in there and sit a bit to let your eye become accustomed to the darkness. Face out and you'll find all sorts of little ledges to grab.

BTW, the route has much, much more stout 5.9 offwidths and chimneys than the Ear. if the Ear freaks you out then there isn't really much chance you'll get up the route.
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Oscar

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jul 14, 2010 - 10:43pm
 
I’m considering the Salathe Wall for this fall and I have heard a lot about how terrifying The Ear pitch is but nobody really says why it is that terrifying. Is it run out with fatal consequences in a fall, or it is just psychological?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Oct 4, 2009 - 03:38pm
I just got this correction to the topo:

In the big wall book, pitch 23 is incorrect. What you have deemed as the Teflon Corner, is actually the pin-filled aid line.
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freerider

climber
Mar 19, 2009 - 03:38pm
 
Hello,

Are there fixed lines to Heart Ledges on El Cap right now? If so, are they in decent shape?

Thanks in advance,

Ben L
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Feb 25, 2009 - 10:37am
Here is the story of the first solo ascent by Peter Haan

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=247504
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 27, 2008 - 12:14am
 
Paul Piana's 1989 AAJ article on the First Free Ascent

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=732154
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enjoimx

Trad climber
SLO
Oct 7, 2008 - 07:47pm
 
Anyone know if the Salathe is fixed to Heart right now?

Its October 7th

Thanks
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Rob001

Trad climber
Colorado
Sep 10, 2008 - 05:36pm
 
Anyone know if the Salathe is fixed to heart ledge? Condition of ropes?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Sep 9, 2008 - 01:31pm
Here is an article on the first free ascent of the Salathe Wall

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=670630
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Aug 31, 2008 - 01:23am
There are some great Salathe photos by tom frost here

http://frostworksclimbing.com/photogallery.html

and a great photo trip report here

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=667319
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Aug 23, 2008 - 12:12pm
got this question from nanook. this pitch has the hardest route finding on the route. i did my best to describe in the book but i could do better:

On the pitch above the Block and below Sois le Toit, I did the 5.7 flakes and then went up a flakey c1 crack for 20 ft or so, to a fixed pin and old stopper. I could see chaulk on the face to the left but when I lowered down there it looked to be 5.10 face, so I went back up the crack to the fixed pin and stopper and then lowered left. I had to hand traverse a ledge and then mantle to reach some slings hanging down from an arrow. It looked like if I had continued above the fixed pin and stopper there was some more fixed gear and I could see a biner up there but there was a hard mantel move that I couldn't bust. So I ended up coming in low hooking on a couple loose flakes(probably 5.10) and then getting in the c1 crack. Did I go left too early? Too late? Is that mantle move real or did I miss something?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   May 7, 2008 - 10:55am
around april 20, the rope from mammoth ledges down to heart was pretty bad i hear. dont jug up from heart to mammoth till someone replaces it.
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lizard fiasco

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
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   May 5, 2008 - 11:03am
As of May 2, 2008 all the fixed lines to Heart and Mammoth Terraces were in good condition, including the orange and blue ropes above Little John.
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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 1, 2008 - 02:04am
 
On March 17, 2008, there were lines fixed from the ground to Heart and on to the left side of Mammoth Terraces. They seemed to be mostly the same ropes that were in place in June 2007. The ropes were in good shape, except for the pitch above Little John, where the right hand rope is under tension and has a core shot on the upper anchor. Obviously you won't want to rappel on this one, but somebody should release the tension and tie out the core shot, in case somebody tries to ascend it without checking it from above.
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RockMD

Big Wall climber
Arizona
May 1, 2008 - 12:05am
 
Does anyone know if there are fixed ropes to heart ledges?
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E.A.

Trad climber
Gunks
Aug 21, 2007 - 04:43pm
 
I'm heading up this coming Sunday - can someone tell me if it's currently fixed to Heart?
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<:3)~~~~

Trad climber
Portland, Or
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   Nov 21, 2006 - 01:54pm
The Salathe Wall.
I agree, the ear is the most horrid pitch on the Salathe. The half dollar was fun, the hollow flake was thrilling, the sewer pitch was a stinking slim fest. But the ear... The ear was just nasty.



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gheart

Mountain climber
austria
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   Oct 18, 2006 - 02:44pm
hi there!

I just put my trip report on my website [http://www.gerhardschaar.com]

There are also reports of the ascents of the Prow and Zodiac.

I found the Ear the hardest pitch of my life, in comparrisson to that the Hollow Flake felt like a sunday afternoon walk. Man, this should be 5.7??? I don't know. Maybe I am just too big to fit into that wicked squeeze.

Pitch 33., the 5.8 slab had been much fun as well in pouring rain. Ever tried to free climb a small waterfall? Jesus, what a nightmare!

The night in the portaledge under The Roof was one of the best I ever had though, check it out one day.
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 10, 2006 - 04:03pm
 
From postings on the Forum - fixed ropes are gone as of October 06.
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Jordan Ramey

Big Wall climber
Calgary, Alberta
Jul 17, 2006 - 04:58pm
 
Fixed ropes to heart ledges still present as of July 6th. There is a tied out section near the bottom with some core showing. Didn't jug the lines, so I only checked out the bottom ones. They were fixed all the way to heart.
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semorrison

Big Wall climber
Berkeley, CA
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   Jun 5, 2006 - 09:15pm
As of June 2, Heart Ledges is fixed with ropes in decent condition; there's some fuzzing on the sheaths, and no major damage, except right below Heart Ledge, where there's a badly damaged section tied out with a knot.

There are also fixed ropes to Mammoth Terrace (and from there somewhere higher), as well as mysterious fixed ropes coming from somewhere up to Hollow Flake Ledge. Finally, a few of the upper pitches around the Headwall have fixed ropes at the moment.

There are haul bags all over the route! Above the Headwall there's a big 4 gallon container of water, dated 5-15.

The Sewer is running.

Beg, buy or steal a number 6 camalot.

wow :-)
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Ron Raimonde

Big Wall climber
Sedona,Az
May 20, 2006 - 04:41pm
 
Lines were re-fixed to heart on 5-15-06 with burly statics that are in great condition. Heart to mammoth is NOT fixed. In regard to hauling free blast? Its not as easy as the heart hauls, but is not as bad as many say. Make sure to keep your haul line out on the face of the dollar. As long as heart is fixed I would take advantage of hauling to there,then having fun on the free blast. Heart to Mammoth might be fixed by your June climb, It often is.
Have Fun, Ron
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RockMD

Big Wall climber
Arizona
Apr 28, 2006 - 05:20pm
 
Hello all, does anyone know what the deal is with the fixed ropes from Heart ledges? I'm planning on being in the valley at the 1st of June with the intention of jumping on the Nose. If the crowds are too much, then I was planning on Salathe as a back up. Does anyone know if the fixed lines are going to be put back up or should I plan on hauling the free blast? Does anyone have any beta for hauling the free blast? Thanks in advance.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Apr 23, 2006 - 04:41pm
In April 2006, there are no fixed lines in place to Heart Ledges. I don't know who, why or how.

FYI

Peace

Karl
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nate

Trad climber
virginia
Jan 6, 2006 - 03:07pm
 
did the free blast in may onsighting up to the move entering the half dollar. Thought that the first slab pitch was a crazy sandbag. Guess I was just tired and I set up for the move a little tricky. The half dollar was soaked in the crack and i ended up chimneying the whole thing which sucks as it is a bit flared. cant wait to go back and go to the top. Cool Route.
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climbingbuzz

Trad climber
SF, CA
Sep 26, 2004 - 07:15pm
 
Anyone know the condition of the fixed ropes (if any) from Heart ledges to the ground on the Salathe?

Also, how easy is it to retreat to the ground from either the top of the hollow flake pitch or El Cap Spire?

Thanks in advance.
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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Jun 9, 2004 - 12:12pm
 
Did Freeblast (first ten pitches of Salathe) this week and had some comments. The supertopo shows linking pitches 3 and 4. We were going to do this, but the anchor at pitch 2 is a hanging belay whereas anchor 3 is a nice stance. So I brought my partner up to the third anchor. Linking 2 and 3 or maybe even 4 and 5 might be nicer.

I thought the fifth pitch was a sandbag. Even though the first part of the pitch is listed as 10d or C1, you can't avoid some fairly hard, mandatory free (unless you are willing to do aid harder than C1). Even yarding and standing on bolts, the mandatory free moves on the friction part felt way harder than 5.8 (I hope I'm not that rusty on friction climbing). Maybe it would be 5.8/A0 with a cheater stick. The bolts are close enough together that the falls are short and clean. (And no, nothing is missing or broken.)

Turning the lip at the bottom of the Half Dollar was also hard for 10b. With offset Aliens, for the pin scars, it's not that hard to aid through. However, the Half Dollar was easy for a Yosemite, 5.8 wide crack. It was a little awkward because of the flare, but there are jams in the back and it is low angle--not much danger of falling out. The bolts at the top of the Half Dollar are out of sight below the main ledge (they are positioned for hauling).

I linked pitches 9 and 10 with a 60m. My partner had to climb about 15 feet of third class before I got to the anchor at pitch 10.

[Unless you are a novice on wide cracks,] I would skip the big gear. One #3 Camalot and a couple of #2 Camalots is plenty. Bigger gear might go in the Half Dollar, but there is enough medium sized pro. As with many El Cap routes, the hard climbing (and/or aid) are thin cracks with lots of pin scars. I would take the two sets of nuts (regular and offsets) and tiny to just over finger sized cams. I had two complete sets of offset Aliens and I was very happy about that.

An excellant free route. The fixed lines make it pretty quick to get down. However, you do have to pass some knots while rappeling. One of the rap anchors has a blue and a red rope. The red rope is in better shape, with no knots to pass, but it doesn't make it all the way to the next anchor. Start on red and then switch to blue. Watch the ends of your rope!
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   May 1, 2004 - 12:23pm
Hi George

I did the route in the 80's and bought the biggest Yates Big Dude just for hollow flake. I was able to walk it up a bit in the lower section of hollow flake but found that the party was over pretty soon and had to run it out for the top section.

Never trust your memory of burly and scary routes from the past. It's like folks who block out their memories of traumatic abuse

Peace

karl
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George Bell

Trad climber
Colorado
Apr 28, 2004 - 01:02pm
 
Is the Hollow Flake getting wider? I did the route in 1989, and remember walking the largest Yates Big Dude up the crack. It fit fine, except for maybe the last 15 feet or so where the crack became too wide. However from talking with people who have done the route more recently, you can't walk a big cam all the way up as before. Is the crack slowly widening? Or is it that the #5 Camalot most people probably take now is slightly smaller than what I used?
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sfclimber

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Apr 26, 2004 - 02:04pm
 
My partner and I attempted freeblast (first 10 pitches) over the weekend. The second bolt of the 5th pitch bolted section is missing. I didn't see it with my own eyes, but my partner for the day said that it could no longer be aided at the advertised A0 without a couple of hooks.

The team ahead of us had no trouble freeing the 5.11b roof starting the 3rd pitch, but fell 3 times trying to get past the missing bolt, so I took my partners word at face value and we had to retreat. Bring a cheater stick.
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david_webb_aus

Big Wall climber
Canberra Australia
Sep 29, 2003 - 08:37pm
 
Can anyone give an updated gear list required to complete this climb. I plan on climbing it next year and want to plan ahead on what gear I need or email me at david_webb@telstra.com

Cheers
Dave
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david_webb_aus

Big Wall climber
Canberra Australia
Sep 29, 2003 - 08:37pm
 
Can anyone give an updated gear list required to complete this climb. I plan on climbing it next year and want to plan ahead on what gear I need.

Cheers
Dave
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smitty

Intermediate climber
Canberra Australia
Oct 30, 2002 - 06:33pm
 
Well, D. ...I figure if slings go up (which there were) then a ring should be with them...
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Lou H

Intermediate climber
Canberra Australia
Oct 30, 2002 - 01:07pm
 
I led the Hollow Flake on two fat lead lines. One for the pendulum and one for the Hollow Flake. I placed two big cams and three (4?) big bros. I cruised the pitch easily and it wasn't scary. It was nice to have a third rope as a backup anyway. The extra big gear rode in a little minihaulbag under the main bag the rest of the way and wasn't a problem. This may be the wuss way but it didn't add much more trouble in my opinion.
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D.

Novice climber
Canberra Australia
Oct 9, 2002 - 11:58am
 
Give me a break. Most people don't plan on climbing only the first 4 pitches of the FreeBlast before bailing. I personally hope we don't see rap rings cluttering every belay. If you were planning on rapping down after only four pitches of this route instead of at least climbing to Mammoth ledges why didn't you bring your own damn rap ring?
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smitty

Intermediate climber
Canberra Australia
Oct 7, 2002 - 08:32pm
 
Climbed the first four pitches as practice aid climbing. Great fun. I was a bit dissapointed to find the rap slings were void of rings. One pull of a double rope rappel is good to burn through slings...hope to see some go up soon. Otherwise, the climbing is great, and the view of the shield is fantastic. We left a new sling on the fixed piton right off on the start of pitch 3 to replace the old one...enjoy...and about 20 feet later around the corner is a Blue water nut up for grabs for the lucky climber to free it up...
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ergophobe

Novice climber
Canberra Australia
Aug 28, 2002 - 12:49pm
 
A few answers to some old questions..

1. Fixed Lines. In the past there have always been multiple ratty ropes on the rappels. Last week there was a single set of nice ropes on all pitches that were fixed. There were no fixed lines from the top of Little John to the ground. Also, there is about 50 feet of fixed static line from Mammoth. Obviously that doesn't get you down to Heart.

2. Hollow Flake. As I mentioned above, BACK UP THE PENDULUM PIN. Having thrutched up the HF with all the crap on, if I were to do it again, I would take one set of stoppers (to back up the pin) and some slings, biners and hauler. If you get any gear on the HF, it will be a #5 Camalot low down, which you will push until it's competely tipped out (which is pretty much the point you pendulum in at anyway) and then you will rerack it and just climb, holding your breath.

As squeeze chimneys go, I would say the HF is fairly soft. Definitely not talking Ahab here or even the Narrows, but you are *way* out from your gear. It's mostly a head trip without any hard climbing, but if you popped out, you would likely go rocketing back into the dihedral.

You could try to place Big Bros, but it will take you forever since you don't want to leave them (you'll have enough drag just with the rope coming around the corner without putting an angle in it) and you can't really push them and you won't use them again on the whole route.

Good luck!

Tom
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ergophobe

Novice climber
Canberra Australia
Aug 26, 2002 - 11:33pm
 
Hollow Falke warning: As if the Hollow Flake pitch weren't scary enough, I just got off the route and found that I could clean the first pendulum pin with my hand. I thought about just taking it with me so that nobody would get hurt, but I left. It is *very* easy to back this up with a small stopper or two just below the pin. Make sure you do so and have fun on the Flake!
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billiebob

Advanced climber
Canberra Australia
Jun 25, 2002 - 06:44pm
 
Fixed lines are in OK shape as of last week. Take the RIGHT lines if ascending, unless the left one is clearly better.
#6 Friend was key on this route. #5 Camalot would be too small.
tricams pink thru blue are helpful on the aid climbing below the roof.
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michael

Novice climber
Canberra Australia
Apr 3, 2002 - 07:29pm
 
does anyone know how large the triangle ledge is at the end of pitch 6? is it large enough to accomodate a bivy? i know everyone does the free blast and does not bivy here, but i am looking to just play around for a day. thanks
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Tim Lawrence

Trad climber
Madrid, Spain
Mar 20, 2002 - 03:38pm
 
A friend and I were talking about routes we wanted to do this May and he mentioned the Salathe Wall looked really nice. That statement was quickly followed by a whimper about the scary Hollow Flake pitch and some sort of 60-80 run out on wide, unprotectable 5.9 crack. Anybody have beta for the pitch? Is it technically hard or just a "heady" lead? Thanks for any and all beta.
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john

Novice climber
Madrid, Spain
Feb 21, 2002 - 12:53pm
 
yeah definitely use more than one line. Maybe jug on one and then tie in short on another rope, thats what I did. Yes definitely keep telling yourself "ropes dont break"
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S D

Novice climber
Madrid, Spain
Feb 21, 2002 - 03:39am
 
Last Time I went up the fixed lines, I took a deep breath and gunned them. Lots of knots in the lines to keep the frayed ends out. Scary, but not bad
Are you really DLFA?
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chris mcnamara

Advanced climber
Madrid, Spain
Feb 21, 2002 - 12:56am
 
great beta, jeremy.

kevin, the conditions of the fixed ropes are usually less than inspiring. just keep telling yourself "Ropes don't break, ropes don't break..." fortunately, there are usually multiple bad ropes do you could back yourself up. i have never done this but i imagine a petzl shunt would be the great backup tool.
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John O'Connor

Boulder climber
Fort Fun
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   Feb 21, 2002 - 12:48am
To jeremy: I climbed the Salathe Wall last may. It was my first el cap route and it is awesome. The only problem with your schedule is the block straight to the summit. We were not fast and we just planned a bivy on long ledge. Its is actually fairly comfortable for three and it makes a great last night on the wall. The next day is cruiser and you will summit by late morning thus giving yourself time to find the east ledges (we got seriously lost). From one slow party to another this is what i would recommend. DO the free blast in a day then come back to the ground. the next day haul to heart ledges and then climb to hollow flake ledge. We tried to go from heart to el cap spire and we got there way late. then from the spire to the block really isnt that bad. Then from the block to long ledge. This is good because we got off route on the souse le toit pitch and wasted alot of time. you are also on the headwall that day it is really exposed and you will move slow, because you will be double checking everything. Then long ledge to the summit. If i were to climb the salathe again this is how i would do it. Hope this helps dont sweat it youll fire it!!
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Kevin Fons

Intermediate climber
Fort Fun
Feb 19, 2002 - 07:32pm
 
What kind of shape are the fixed lines usually in? I have heard of a large range of conditions?

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Chris McNamara

Advanced climber
Fort Fun
Feb 19, 2002 - 03:02am
 
Great questions

Hollow flake ledge is pretty big but not very comfortable. You will love having the portanledge. The portaledge is always more comfortable and if you bring it you should set it up. Nobody bivies on triangle ledge because they usually climb the first 10 pitches in a day without a haulbag, then rappel to the ground. The next day they haul their bag up the heart ledges fixed lines and go from there. As long as you let people pass you and are friendly then going slow should not be a problem.
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Jeremy

Intermediate climber
Fort Fun
Feb 19, 2002 - 03:01am
 
I have a couple of quick questions. I am coming out this spring to climb the Salathe Wall in a very slow style. My first question is... Are the triangle and hollow flake ledges large enough to accomodate a two person bivy? I am bringing a ledge, however I would rather not have to mess with it if I do not need to. My bivy shedule is... triangle ledge, mammoth terraces, hollow flake ledge, el cap spire, the block, and then the summit before descending. And my last question is will my slow style get in the way of a lot of other teams who may be going faster or should they be able to pass ok(i don't want to be the slow valley as#@&%e)? I would appreciate any feedback you may have.

PS - Your topos kick ass!!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Mar 6, 2001 - 04:31pm
Many people who consider The Nose also consider the Triple Direct or Salathé Wall. Which wall should you climb? Ill explain the pros and cons of each:

CROWDS: all three routes are crowded. The Nose is by far the most crowded and sometimes when the nose has 4 parties the Salathé Wall only has one. The triple direct is hit or miss with crowds. if you time it wrong you can end up at Camp 4 with tons of people in front of you.

DIFFICULTY
The Nose is harder than the Triple Direct and a little easier that the Salathé Wall. The Salathé Wall has more wide climbing and requires you to be comfortable on 5.9 OW. The Salathé also has slightly more tricky aid (or 5.13).

TIME: There are few good bivy spots on the upper half of the Salathé Wall. On The Nose, and Triple Direct there are more ledges spread over the climb. This means that The Nose and Triple Direct can be comfortably climbed with 2 or 3 bivies while The Salathé Wall can only by comfortable climbed in 1 bivy (El Cap Spire). Therefor, the Salathé Wall is best climbed in a fast and light style while The Nose and Triple Direct can be climbed at a more leisurely pace.

OVERALL I feel the Nose is the best route on El Cap. The triple direct is good but misses many of the classic pitches on The Nose: Stoveleg Crack, King Swing, El Cap Tower. The Salathé Wall is almost as classic as The Nose and takes the most natural line up El Capitan. Overall you will have an incredible experience no matter which route you do.
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El Capitan - Salathe Wall 5.13b or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
Photo: Mark Kroese
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